Quotes from Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles
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Discovery is dangerous . . . but so is life.
A man unwilling to take risk is doomed
never to learn, never to grow, never to live.
-- PLANETOLOGIST PARDOT KYNES, An Arrakis Primer, written for his son Liet
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Behold, O Man, you can create life. You can destroy life.
But, lo, you have no choice but to experience life.
And therein lies both your greatest strength and
your greatest weakness.
-- Orange Catholic Bible, Book of Kimla Septima, 5:3
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Secrets are an important aspect of power.
The effective leader spreads them in
order to keep men in line.
-- PRINCE RAPHAEL CORRINO, Discourses on Leadership
in a Galactic Imperium, Twelfth Edition
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In the days of Old Terra there were experts in poisons, deviously clever
persons who dealt in what were known as "the powders of inheritance."
-- Filmbook excerpt, Royal Library of Kaitain
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It is said that there is nothing firm, nothing balanced, nothing durable in all
the universe -- that nothing remains in its original state, that each day, each
hour, each moment, there is change.
-- Panoplia Propheticus of the Bene Gesserit
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Nature commits no errors; right and wrong are human categories.
-- PARDOT KYNES, Arrakis Lectures
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Before us, all methods of learning were tainted by instinct. Before us,
instinct-ridden researchers possessed a limited attention span -- often no
longer than a single lifetime. Projects stretching across fifty or more
generations never occurred to them. The concept of total muscle/nerve training
had not entered their awareness. We learned how to learn.
-- Bene Gesserit Azhar Book
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"Xuttuh" is a word that means many things. Every Bene Tleilax knows it was the
name of the first Master. But just as that man was more than a mere mortal, so
there are depths and complexities in the appellation. Depending upon tone and
vocal inflection, "Xuttuh" can mean "hello" or "blessings be upon you." Or it
can constitute a prayer encompassed in a single word, as a devotee prepares to
die for the Great Belief. For such reasons, we have chosen this as our new
name for the conquered planet formerly known as Ix.
-- Tleilaxu Training Disk
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A center for the coordination of rebellion can be mobile; it does not need to
be a permanent place where people meet.
-- CAMMAR PILRU, Ixian Ambassador in Exile: Treatise on the Downfall
of Unjust Governments
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It is said that the Fremen has no conscience, having lost it in a burning
desire for revenge. This is foolish. Only the rawest primitive and the
sociopath have no conscience. The Fremen possesses a highly evolved worldview
centered on the welfare of his people. His sense of belonging to the community
is almost stronger than his sense of self. It is only to outsiders that these
desert dwellers seem brutish . . . just as outsiders appear to them.
-- PARDOT KYNES, The People of Arrakis
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An empire built on power cannot attract the affections and loyalty that men
bestow willingly on a regime of ideas and beauty. Adorn your Grand Empire with
beauty, with culture.
-- From a speech by CROWN PRINCE RAPHAEL CORRINO: L'Institut de Kaitain Archives
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Military victories are meaningless unless they reflect the wishes
of the populace. An Emperor exists only to clarify those wishes.
He executes the popular will, or his time is short.
-- Principium, Imperial Leadership Academy
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Organizational structure is crucial to the success of a movement.
It is, as well, a prime target for attack.
-- CAMMAR PILRU, Ixian Ambassador in Exile: Treatise on the Downfall
of Unjust Governments
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The universe is our picture. Only the immature imagine the cosmos to be what
they think it is.
-- SIGAN VISEE, First Head Instructor, Guild Navigator School
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War is a form of organic behavior. The army is a means of survival for the
all-male group. The all-female group, on the other hand, is traditionally
religion-oriented. They are the keepers of sacred mysteries.
-- Bene Gesserit Teaching
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What is this Love that so many speak of with such apparent familiarity?
Do they truly comprehend how unattainable it is? Are there not as many
definitions of Love as there are stars in the universe?
-- The Bene Gesserit Question Book
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When you ask a question, do you truly want to know the answer, or are you
merely flaunting your power?
-- DMITRI HARKONNEN, Notes to My Sons
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Some lies are easier to believe than the truth.
-- Orange Catholic Bible
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The strictest limits are self-imposed.
-- FRIEDRE GINAZ, Philosophy of the Swordmaster
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Special knowledge can be a terrible disadvantage if it leads you too far along
a path that you cannot explain anymore.
-- Mentat Admonition
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Too much knowledge never makes for simple decisions.
-- CROWN PRINCE RAPHAEL CORRINO, Discourses on Leadership
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The desert is a surgeon cutting away the skin to expose what is underneath.
-- Fremen Saying
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The purpose of argument is to change the nature of truth.
-- Bene Gesserit Precept
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Religion is the emulation of the adult by the child. Religion is the
encystment of past beliefs: mythology, which is guesswork, the hidden
assumptions of trust in the universe, those pronouncements which men have made
in search of personal power . . . all mingled with shreds of enlightenment.
And always the ultimate unspoken commandment is "Thou shalt not question!"
But we do anyway. We break that commandment as a matter of course.
The work to which we have set ourselves is the liberating of the imagination,
the harnessing of imagination to humankind's deepest sense of creativity.
-- Credo of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood
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Humiliation is a thing never forgotten.
-- REBEC of Ginaz
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Learn to recognize the future the way a Steersman identifies
guiding stars and corrects the course of his vessel.
Learn from the past; never use it as an anchor.
-- SIGAN VISEE, First Head Instructor, Guild Navigator School
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The Unknown surrounds us at any given moment. That is where we seek knowledge.
-- MOTHER SUPERIOR RAQUELLA BERTO-ANIRUL: Oratory Against Fear
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Thinking, and the methods by which thoughts are communicated,
inevitably create a system permeated by illusions.
-- Zensunni Teaching
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There is no reality -- only our own order imposed on everything.
-- Basic Bene Gesserit Dictum
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Immobility is often mistaken for peace.
-- EMPEROR ELROOD CORRINO IX
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To learn about this universe, one must embark on a course of discovery where
real dangers exist. Education cannot impart this discovery; it is not a thing
to be taught and used or put away. It has no goals. In our universe, we
consider goals to be end products, and they are deadly if one becomes fixated
on them.
-- FRIEDRE GINAZ, Philosophy of the Swordmaster
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Never underestimate the power of the human mind to believe
what it wants to believe, no matter the conflicting evidence.
-- CAEDMON ERB, Politics and Reality
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It is the Atreides way to be examples of honor for our children,
so that they may be the same for their own progeny.
-- DUKE LETO ATREIDES, First Speech to the Caladan Assembly
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It is true that one may become rich through practicing evil, but the power of
Truth and Justice is that they endure . . . and that a man can say of them,
"They are a heritage from my father."
-- Fifth Dynasty (Old Terra) calendar: The Wisdom of Ptahhotep
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A man who persists in stalking game in a place where there is none may wait
forever without finding any success. Persistence in search is not enough.
-- Zensunni Wisdom of the Wanderings
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The effective ruler punishes opposition while rewarding assistance; he shifts
his forces in random fashion; he conceals major elements of his power; he sets
up a rhythm of counter movement that keeps opponents off balance.
-- WESTHEIMER ATREIDES, Elements of Leadership
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The Universe operates on a basic principle of economics: everything has
its cost. We pay to create our future, we pay for the mistakes of the past.
We pay for every change we make . . . and we pay just as dearly if we
refuse to change.
-- Guild Bank Annals, Philosophical Register
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The increasing variety and abundance of life itself vastly multiplies the
number of niches available for life. The resulting system is a web of makers
and users, eaters and eaten, collaborators and competitors.
-- PARDOT KYNES, Report to Emperor Shaddam IV
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To know what one ought to do is not enough.
-- PRINCE RHOMBUR VERNIUS
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Facts mean nothing when they are preempted by appearances.
Do not underestimate the power of impression over reality.
-- CROWN PRINCE RAPHAEL CORRINO, The Rudiments of Power
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If you surrender, you have already lost. If you refuse to give up, though,
no matter the odds against you, at least you have succeeded in trying.
-- DUKE PAULUS ATREIDES
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Dreams are as simple or as complicated as the dreamer.
-- LIET-KYNES, In the Footsteps of My Father
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Water is the image of life. We came from water, adapted from its
all-encompassing presence . . . and we continue to adapt.
-- IMPERIAL PLANETOLOGIST PARDOT KYNES
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I stand in the sacred human presence. As I do now, so should you stand some
day. I pray to your presence that this be so. Let the future remain uncertain
for that is the canvas to receive our desires. Thus the human condition faces
its perpetual tabula rasa. We possess no more than this moment where we
dedicate ourselves continuously to the sacred presence we share and create.
-- Bene Gesserit Benediction
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I fought in great wars to defend the Imperium and slew many men in the
Emperor's name. I attended Landsraad functions. I toured the continents of
Caladan. I managed all the tedious business matters required to run a Great
House. And still the best of times were those I spent with my son.
-- DUKE PAULUS ATREIDES
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Body and mind are two phenomena, observed under different conditions, but of
one and the same ultimate reality. Body and mind are aspects of the living
being. They operate within a peculiar principle of synchronicity wherein
things happen together and behave as if they are the same . . . yet can be
conceived of as separate.
-- Staff Medical Manual, Ginaz School
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The Universe is a place inaccessible, unintelligible, completely absurd . . .
from which life -- especially rational life -- is estranged. There is no place
of safety, or basic principle upon which the Universe depends. There are only
transitory, masked relationships, confined within limited dimensions, and bound
for inevitable change.
-- Meditations from Bifrost Eyrie, Buddislamic Text
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The Bene Gesserit tell no casual lies. Truth serves us better.
-- BENE GESSERIT CODA
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The man who gives in to adrenaline addiction turns against all humanity.
He turns against himself. He runs away from the workable issues of life and
admits a defeat which his own violent actions help to create.
-- CAMMAR PILRU, Ixian Ambassador in Exile: Treatise on the Downfall of Unjust
Governments
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There exists no way of exchanging information without making judgments.
-- Bene Gesserit Axiom
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Infinity attracts us like a floodlight in the night, blinding us to the
excesses it can inflict upon the finite.
-- Meditations from Bifrost Eyrie, Buddislamic Text
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Love is the highest achievement to which any human may aspire.
It is an emotion that encompasses the full depth of heart, mind, and soul.
-- Zensunni Wisdom from the Wandering
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It is possible to become intoxicated with rebellion for rebellion's sake.
-- DOMINIC VERNIUS, Ecaz Memoirs
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What is each man but a memory for those who follow?
-- DUKE LETO ATREIDES
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A man may fight the greatest enemy, take the longest journey, survive the most
grievous wound -- and still be helpless in the hands of the woman he loves.
-- Zensunni Wisdom from the Wandering
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Political leaders often don't recognize the practical uses of imagination and
innovative new ideas until such forms are thrust under their noses by bloody
hands.
-- CROWN PRINCE RAPHAEL CORRINO, Discourses on Galactic Leadership
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Enemies strengthen you; allies weaken.
-- EMPEROR ELROOD IX, Deathbed Insights
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The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be
experienced.
-- Meditations from Bifrost Eyrie, Buddislamic Text
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The work to which we have set ourselves is the liberating of the imagination,
and the harnessing of the imagination to man's physical creativity.
-- FRIEDRE GINAZ, Philosophy of the Swordmaster
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Nature has moved inexplicably backward and forward to produce this marvelous,
subtle Spice. One is tempted to suggest that only divine intervention could
possibly have produced a substance which in one aspect extends human life and
in another opens the inner doors of the psyche to the wonders of Time and
Creation.
-- HIDAR FEN AJIDICA, Laboratory Notes on the Nature of Melange
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Freedom is an elusive concept. Some men hold themselves prisoner even
when they have the power to do as they please and go where they choose,
while others are free in their hearts, even as shackles restrain them.
-- Zensunni Wisdom from the Wandering
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Heaven must be the sound of running water.
-- Fremen Saying
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Look inside yourself and you can see the universe.
-- Zensunni Aphorism
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Unceasing warfare gives rise to its own social conditions, which have been
similar throughout the ages. One such condition is a permanent state of
alertness to ward off attack. Another is the rule of the autocrat.
-- CAMMAR PILRU, Ixian Ambassador in Exile: Treatise on the Downfall
of Unjust Governments
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Beneath a world -- in its rocks, its dirt and sedimentary overlays --
there you find the planet's memory, the complete analog of its existence,
its ecological memory.
-- PARROT KYNES, An Arrakis Primer
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A Duke must always take control of his household, for if he does not
rule those closest to him, he cannot hope to govern a planet.
-- DUKE PAULUS ATREIDES
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We create our own future by our own beliefs, which control our actions.
A strong enough belief system, a sufficiently powerful conviction,
can make anything happen. This is how we create our consensus reality,
including our gods.
-- REVEREND MOTHER RAMALLO, Sayyadina of the Fremen
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Challenge: Time?
Answer: A brilliant, many-faceted gem.
Challenge: Time?
Answer: A dark stone, reflecting no visible light.
-- Fremen wisdom, from The Riddle Game
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It requires a desperate and lonely sort of courage to challenge the accepted
wisdom upon which social peace of mind rests.
-- CROWN PRINCE RAPHAEL CORRINO, In Defense of Change in the Face of Tradition
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There is no such thing as a law of nature. There is only a series of laws
relating to man's practical experience with nature. These are laws of man's
activities. They change as man's activities change.
-- PARROT KYNES, An Arrakis Primer
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One uses power by grasping it lightly. To grasp with too much force is to be
taken over by power, thus becoming its victim.
-- Bene Gesserit Axiom
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No one has yet determined the power of the human species . . . what it may
perform by instinct, and what it may accomplish with rational determination.
-- Mentat Objective Analysis of Human Capabilities
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Power and deceit are tools of statecraft, yes. But remember that power deludes
the ones who wield it -- making them believe it can overcome the defects of
their ignorance.
-- COUNT FLAMBERT MUTELLI, early speech in Landsraad Hall of Oratory
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Never be in the company of anyone with whom you would not want to die.
-- Fremen Saying
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If a man can accept his sin, he can live with it. If a man cannot accept
personal sin, he suffers unbearable consequences.
-- Meditations from Bifrost Eyrie, Buddislamic Text
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The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The
willingness to learn is a choice.
-- REBEC OF GINAZ
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How to define the Kwisatz Haderach? The male who is everywhere simultaneously,
the only man who can truly become the greatest human of all of us, mingling
masculine and feminine ancestry with inseparable power.
-- Bene Gesserit Azhar Book
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You carve wounds upon my flesh and write there in salt!
-- Fremen Lament
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The stone is heavy and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than
them both.
-- DUKE LETO ATREIDES
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Innovation and daring create heroes. Mindless adherence
to outdated rules creates only politicians.
-- VISCOUNT HUNDRO MORITANI
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How easily grief becomes anger, and revenge gains arguments.
-- PADISHAH EMPEROR HASSIK III, Lament for Salusa Secundus
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Paradise on my right, Hell on my left, and the Angel of Death behind me.
-- Fremen Conundrum
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If God wishes thee to perish, He causes thy steps to
lead thee to the place of thy demise.
-- Cant of the Shariat
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Treachery and quick-thinking will defeat hard-and-fast rules any day.
Why should we be afraid to seize the opportunities we see?
-- VISCOUNT HUNDRO MORITANI, Response to Landsraad Court Summons
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All technology is suspect, and must be considered potentially dangerous.
-- BUTLERIAN JIHAD, Handbook for Our Grandchildren
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The seats of power inevitably try to harness any new knowledge to their own
desires. But knowledge can have no fixed desires -- neither in the past nor in
the future.
-- DMITRI HARKONNEN, Lessons for My Sons
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The haughty do but build castle walls behind which they try to hide their
doubts and fears.
-- Bene Gesserit Axiom
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The individual is the key, the final effective unit of all biological processes.
-- PARDOT KYNES
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Good leadership is largely invisible. When everything runs smoothly, no one
notices a Duke's work. That is why he must give the people something to cheer,
something to talk about, something to remember.
-- DUKE PAULUS ATREIDES
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War, as the foremost ecological disaster of any age, merely reflects the larger
state of human affairs in which the total organism called "humanity" finds its
existence.
-- PARDOT KYNES, Reflections on the Disaster at Salusa Secundus
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Beware the seeds you sow and the crops you reap. Do not curse God for the
punishment you inflict upon yourself.
-- Orange Catholic Bible
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Every man dreams of the future, though not all of us will be there to see it.
-- TIO HOLTZMAN, Speculations on Time and Space
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Knowledge is pitiless.
-- Orange Catholic Bible
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The greatest and most important problems of life cannot be solved.
They can only be outgrown.
-- SISTER JESSICA, private journal entry
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Why look for meaning where there is none?
Would you follow a path you know leads nowhere?
-- Query of the Mentat School
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Humans must never submit to animals.
-- Bene Gesserit Teaching
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To keep from dying is not the same as "to live."
-- Bene Gesserit Saying
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We are always human and carry the whole burden of being human.
-- DUKE LETO ATREIDES
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No one person can ever know everything that is in the heart of another.
We are all Face Dancers in our souls.
-- Tleilaxu Secret Handbook
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We as humans tend to make pointless demands of our universe, asking meaningless
questions. Too often we make such queries after developing an expertise within
a frame of reference which has little or no relationship to the context in
which the question is asked.
-- Zensunni Observation
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The ego is only a bit of consciousness swimming upon the ocean of dark things.
We are an enigma unto ourselves.
-- The Mentat Handbook
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The individual is shocked by the overwhelming discovery of his own mortality.
The species, however, is different. It need not die.
-- PARDOT KYNES, An Arrakis Primer
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The man faced with a life-and-death decision must commit himself,
or he will remain caught in the pendulum.
-- From "In My Father's House," by the Princess Irulan
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Love is an ancient force, one that served its purpose in its day but is no
longer essential for the survival of the species.
-- Bene Gesserit Axiom
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How will I be remembered by my children? This is the true measure of a man.
-- ABULURD HARKONNEN
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Some say that the anticipation of a thing is better than the thing itself.
In my view, this is utter nonsense. Any fool can imagine a prize.
I desire the tangible.
-- HASIMIR FENRING, Letters from Arrakis
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Though death will cancel it, life in this world is a glorious thing.
-- DUKE PAULUS ATREIDES
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